The official designation of the vessels is the Empress Geneviéve-class Ships of the Line, following the Imperial tradition of naming their capital ship classes (Ships of the Line) after the reigning Empress at the time of the first vessels' completion. (Note that the first twelve ships of this model were laid down simultaneously and launched sequentially at twelve hour intervals. Vessels of the Imperial Navy are not given their official names until they are commissioned, following their completion, and the first capital ship of a class is always named after the reigning Empress at the time, from which the class name is then derived).
The Battleships are nearly 300 meters long - 275 exactly - and utilize coal burning engines to reach speeds over twenty knots. This is achievable thanks to their thinner armor relative to battleships of our own world, allowed for by the fact that the weapons of their foes are much less advanced. Nevertheless, the ships' massive size and still-significant armor require the combined effort of over two-dozen steam boilers and five drive shafts to provide their mobility.
The main battery consists of 12 inch guns. Each battleship has 16 of these in 8 dual turrets, with 4 centerline turrets - two super-firing forward of the citadel and two super-firing aft, like a conventional battleship design - as well 4 wing turrets, two mounted on either side of the citadel back-to-back. These main gun turrets are each driven by an integral steam engine that turns the turret and operates a mechanized loading device, automating much of the process of loading the gun to reduce crew requirements inside the cramped turret and shorten the interval between shots to only a few seconds. The guns may be aimed and loaded at the same time, since they drop to the loading position and then automatically return to being in-line with the gun-sights once the breech is closed.
In addition, the the battleship has an entire broadisde of 6" guns, 48 guns per-side arranged in the middle of the vessel on two decks like the guns on an old fashioned sailing man'o'war. There are also several torpedo launching systems near the bow. These are deck-launched, not fired from tubes. Each torpedo is driven by a massive fly wheel that must be spun up by a small dedicated steam engine and released, like a giant windup toy. These torpedoes are, of course, unguided, but are the hardest-hitting weapons the battleship possesses.
Power and PropulsionEdit
Much of the ship's central section is devoted to its 28 steam boilers. The vessel is driven through the water by 5 massive quadruple expansion steam engines which burn coal slurry. This is a mixture of fine coal, oil and water and essentially makes the engines liquid-burning, offering considerably more power as well as even, efficient combustion when compared to simple coal. Each engine is geared to its own propeller.There are also a further 6 smaller auxillary boilers that power secondary steam engines throught the ship, such as the one integral to each main gun turret and those that spin up the torpedoes.
These battleships are the pride of the Imperial Navy and the lynchpin around which it operates. Due to the extremely large size of the planet that the Empire inhabits as well as the wildly incliment weather, only very large sturdy ships with ample stores of fuel and crew accomodations can ply the sea lanes effectively. This makes the heavier-end naval ships of the Empire more numerous than what would be considered "balanced" for a real world navy. However, the Imperial Navy is vast anyway and operates over a hundred battleships of this design. They often steam in groups by themselves, without escort - since smaller vessels such as destroyers would require the presence of a tender ship bearing extra fuel and supplies to accompany them. The battleships, although built with the ability to do so, can rarely afford to siphon off their own fuel (let alone provisions) to maintain any escorts, due to the lengths of time involved with most journeys.
These gargantuan warships are responsible for defending Imperial coastlines - both of the mainland and of overseas territories - as well as escorting the most important convoys. Large numbers of them, the majority in fact, are also kept in fleets based at one of the Empire's major harbors to sally forth and deal with larger-scale threats. These fleets rarely put to see for anything other than exercises unless in times of war.
When engaging an enemy, the Imperial Battleship puts its long-barreled 12" guns to good use and destroys the foe from extreme range beyond their own ability to reply. The power of these cannons is almost always enough to cripple targets in a single hit. However, at closer range, the vessel is equally deadly. Its armor shrugs off even the heaviest its enemies can throw at it, while its broadside guns unleash wave after wave of screaming shells into the enemy. And at such short distances, the main cannons have no need for complex mechanical computer-assisted aiming, which means their rate of fire improves substantially. And finally, the battleship possesses an old fashioned prow-mounted ram. Despite its size, it is substantially quicker than most vessels it goes up against, allowing it to run them down and crush them by literal force of mass.
Class & Type: Type 5339 Empress Geneviéve-class Ship of the Line [Battleship]
Displacement: 38,000 tonnes metric (41,887 U.S. short tons)
Length: 275 meters / 902 feet at Waterline
Beam: 42 meters at Waterline
-- Line Pattern Type 5041 Admiralty Inverted Vertical Quadruple-expansion Steam Engine / Drive Shaft x 5
--- Line Pattern Type 5338 Admiralty Forced Circulation Water-Tube Boiler [for Drive Train Systems] x 28
--- Six-blade Primary Propellers x 3
--- Out-board Four-blade Secondary Propellers x 2 (Left-most & Right-most propellers)
- Secondary Systems
-- Line Pattern Type 5338 Admiralty Forced Circulation Water-Tube Boiler [for turret systems] x 8
-- General Pattern Type 5143 Admiralty Forced Circulation Water-Tube Boiler x 12
--- Six provide Steam to Torpedo Launcher Mechanisms [one per launcher]
--- A further six provide Steam to miscillaneous other systems, such as ammunition transfering mechanisms
Speed: 24 knots / 44.5 kmh / 27.6 mph (Maximum Military Power)
Range: ~8,000 nautical miles
Complement: 3,200 Officers & Enlisted plus one Marine Battalion of 900 men
- Main Battery
- Type 5211 Mark IV. 12-inch Naval Gun x 16
-- 4 in two super-firing dual turrets ahead of the Citadel
-- 4 in two super-firing dual turrets aft of the Citadel
-- 8 in two back-to-back pairs of dual turrets on the wings; one pair to starboard and one pair to port of the Citadel
- Secondary Battery
--- Type 4721 Mark IX. 4-inch Long Gun (single casement mounts on lower citadel) x 18 / 9 per broadside
--- Type 5209 Mark V. 6-inch Long Gun (two central gun-decks below citadel) x 96 / 48 per broadside
--- Revolving Pattern Type 5210 Deck-launched Torpedo Catapault System x 6 [2 at stern & 4 at bow]
--- Type 5249 Mark II. 16-inch Long Gun x 2 [Chase Guns, mounted in forecastle at bow]
--- Various small calibre close-in defense deck guns manned by Marine complement
Armor: Special Treatment Steel alloy (1.75-2% chromium, 3-3.5% nickel & 0.35-0.4% carbon by weight)
- 8 inches / 203mm at reinforced midships belt
- 6 inches / 152mm for bow, bridge
- 4-6 inches / 102mm - 152mm on turret faces and waterline bands
- 4 inches / 51mm for conning tower and armored bulkheads
- 2-4 inches / 51mm - 103mm on rest of belt
- 1-3 inches / 25mm-76.2mm on deck
- 0.5-2 inches / 13mm-51mm on rest of citadel